Here’s to Looking At You

photo of a lighted candle

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.

The art of encouraging others is a fine line. Within the last year and a half going on two years, I have been having issues. Although I’ve been slowly climbing out of these issues it has been slow. In talking with my Adorable Cousin a few weeks ago she asked what we were having for supper.

Since these health issues I’ve not been cooking so it’s been up to poor Old Fuzzy and cooking hasn’t been his biggest repertoire. We had shared with Adorable some of our milk and she was thinking she would make pudding with that and I had a sudden idea that I could make some chocolate pudding as well, and fix some tacos…

Well, like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh who thought he could do all sorts of things and decided he could climb trees only to climb the tree but not figure out how to unclimb the tree. So, I am sitting on our ‘third little person’ (kitchen stool) in the kitchen and I have things measured and started for the pudding as I’m talking to Adorable when wham, I felt timed out. This is what happens when my energy level drops and leaves me barely functioning.

Meanwhile, Adorable who also decided on tacos had begun her tacos, a second dessert, and was working on the pudding while we kept talking. At that point I had my pudding started and was far too far along to unstart the pudding when Adorable says to me, so what are you doing now? I’m still sitting on the ‘third person’, but I’ve been unable to reach the next ingredient/step in my pudding making.

When I told her my dilemma that I couldn’t reach the next ingredient, she says, “You just get up there and get that. Right now, get up and get it…” I was sure I had told her I couldn’t reach it, but I repeated what she said and yes, after a few repeats I did get up and finish that pudding. I didn’t do tacos we already had a leftover soup in the fridge so that was alright and Old Fuzzy took care of that. But as my mother used to say, “with a wing and a prayer” I did finish the pudding.

Sometimes people need to acknowledge they are broken and get on with leaning on the grace of God to get back up and continue with life. Other times we need to listen to the words, ‘know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…’ in other words look at the situation and figure it out.

When I was a young child I could tell things weren’t working well the way we were living our lives. My grandparents rejected organized religion telling their children that Christians were hypocrites. But that wasn’t the real problem, and as one preacher told my uncle, “You can come on to church there’s always room for one more” (hypocrite).

That was in a way rude, but the truth of the matter is that life makes hypocrites out of all of us. Most people would like to think of themselves as good people, but therein lies the dilemma. None of us are good except by the grace of God. The closer we live to God’s principles the better we are, but how do we know those principles?

And there is the lie of rejecting organized religion. The right organized religion will tame the beast within humans and bring out the best in people. But organized religion alone for the sake of religion doesn’t do that. The Aztecs and pagan religions as such only pandered to the lusts and desires of those people.

It wasn’t until Jehovah delivered to Moses the Ten commandments that there was something better than doing what was right in our own sight. There are two scriptures to be aware of here, both in Ecclesiastes, 7:20 Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. And Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

In the gospel, according to John, we have the truth and weight of that truth in: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.

And therein was the hope of the ages, the light of the world sent to show us how to not just live but how to live and love. No man is an island and even those of us who are introverted have their circles of comfort. We need each other to learn to live and to grow in God’s grace and knowledge it doesn’t just fall on us as some religions teach.

Another really big lie is we are all going to heaven we’re just taking different paths. That began under the guise of why we have Christian denominations such as Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, etc. That worked when people stopped studying their scriptures and didn’t realize Jesus said there’s one way and if you love me keep my commandments.

Instead of going to Jesus people went to their ‘pastor’ or preacher, or whoever was running their group and they would ask why there were different teachings, or they would shop around to find someone who agreed with them on what they wanted/wanted to do. Shopping around worked here and now, but here and now is not now and then.

This is to say if we compromise here and now our now and then is likewise compromised. We need to seek to follow the Word now in order to please the Lord and actually then get into heaven. That should be our goal, but as I’ve written, life tends to make hypocrites of all of us, not just Christians nor want to be Christians not even sideline criticizers of Christians.

It is popular to tell folks at funerals that their loved one is in a better place, but the real truth is Aunt Edith may not be in a better place. Since heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people everyone needs to be prepared. Being a good person is a good thing but being not just a good person but one of God’s blood-bought persons is a requirement as in:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.

So, then there really is something to be said of going to church on a regular basis, learning how to be obedient to the Word of God, and encouraging others as well as receiving encouragement.

Matthew 11:

11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the marketplaces, who call unto their fellows
17 and say, We piped unto you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not mourn.